Soil is being stockpiled, roads built, underground piping installed and walls going up as construction and reconstruction projects in the Olentangy Local School District keep contractors hopping.

Soil is being stockpiled, roads built, underground piping installed and walls going up as construction and reconstruction projects in the Olentangy Local School District keep contractors hopping.

Bill O'Sullivan, of Turner Construction, Columbus, and Bruce Runyon, of Fanning/Howey consultants of Dublin, recently told the school board about construction of the district's 13th elementary, road construction to the new bus facility and the new performing arts center at Olentangy High School.

In March, voters passed a bond issue for three more elementary schools and a fifth middle school. The elementaries will open for the 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years.

"Elementary 13 is currently under construction and will be finished next summer, a year from now," O'Sullivan said last week. "The middle school site and bus facility are currently under construction. ... Then next spring Elementary 14 will start and the spring after that we will be starting elementary 15. The fifth middle school will start next summer or fall."

Work also is under way at Olentangy High School.

At the 13th elementary, "The site work is essentially complete," he told the board. "All of the soil is moved and the roadways are in -- the water line, storm piping and that kind of thing."

The interior weight-bearing walls have since been completed.

"That is always a big milestone to get that vertical and get ready for structural steel," O'Sullivan said.

The steel is expected to arrive in early September, he said last week.

At that point, O'Sullivan said, the public will start to see the building taking shape.

The district's second major bus facility site is about a half-mile long, according to O'Sullivan, and is accessed off 3 B's & K Road.

Trees stand between the facility and Interstate 71.

"It is hard to take a picture of the whole site and give you any kind of feel," he said.

Getting a road built back to the bus facility was a milestone, according to O'Sullivan.

"What we wrote into the contract was the road had to be done and paved by July 25," he said.

A dirt road was in place on July 7, followed by gravel on July 18. The road was paved on July 24.

O'Sullivan said contractors use computers to calculate the final landscaping grade, which saves time and fuel costs.

The bus facility foundation should be done in January, O'Sullivan said.

Two or three weeks ago, he said, workers were installing underground piping and getting ready for the performing arts center foundation at Olentangy High School.

The addition means the contractors will work alongside the staff and students, O'Sullivan said.

A larger commons area will be built in what previously was the courtyard to handle the growing student population, Runyon said.

"You are increasing that by almost half the size of the current commons area," he said. "We are doing some improvements to the serving area, get the kids in quicker and out quicker so they have more time to do their lunch and go back to class. That will help efficiency of the kitchen, as well."

The project will continue next summer, when the existing auditorium will become 10 additional classrooms, he said.

Runyon said the new performing arts center will, from the inside, look similar to that at Olentangy Orange High School, and the square footage will be the same as at Orange and Liberty high schools.

Two of the new classrooms, which will be completed next year, have been designated to serve the special education department.

Special education classes will be moved downstairs from the second floor to improve access to the main entry.

Runyon said an additional handicap restroom, complete with a shower, will be constructed.